Category Archives: Taxation

Podcast – The Long-Arm of the United States Tax Code | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts Podcast
Published November 24, 2020.

The Long-Arm of the United States Tax Code

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Reyna Munoz, Tax Legal Assistant of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “What does the Long-Arm of the United States Tax Code Mean?” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:
ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
Legal Thoughts
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson, and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.
  • Our topic for today is: “What does the Long-Arm of the United States Tax Code Mean?”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz, Immigration Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our law firm’s Immigration Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz will be asking the questions and I will be giving the answers as she and I will be discussing: “What does the Long-Arm of the United States Tax Code Mean?”

Reyna Munoz Introduces Herself to the Audience:

  • Hi everyone, I am Reyna. I am the Immigration Legal Assistant at the tax, litigation and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Right here in Dallas, Texas.
  • Hi Attorney; today we will be discussing the topic: What does the Long-Arm of the United States Tax Code Mean?

Question 1:

  • Well, attorney what does the long-arm of the U.S. Tax Code mean anyway?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

  • Good morning Reyna. I think this is a fascinating topic; so let’s get started!
  • United States citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (or commonly known as Green Card Holders) are required to pay taxes on their gross income, regardless of where it is earned or how it is earned in the world.  That basic rule is established in United States Code, Section 61(a); and explained in 26 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.1-1(b).
  • So, to answer your question, that is why it is often said by tax professionals that the U.S. tax code has long arms.  It can reach U.S. citizens and Green Card holders and their gross income from anywhere in the world.  These are very long-arms indeed!

Interviewer: Reyna Munoz, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 2:

  • That is interesting! How would the United States Government find out about this gross income and these foreign interest of U.S. citizens and Green Card Holders?

Attorney: Coleman Jackson

ANSWER 2:

  • S. citizens and Green Card Holders have a legal duty to voluntarily file appropriate tax returns and other informational materials with the U.S. government reporting their gross income and interests in financial accounts held overseas. Federal tax returns must be filed annually to report gross income (such as, Form 1040 (individuals), Form 1065 (Partnerships), Form 1120 (Corporations), Form 1041 (Estates).  All of these tax forms are filed with the Internal Revenue Service when applicable.  Further U.S. citizens and Green Card Holders with ownership interest or signatory authority of foreign accounts must complete Schedule B, Part III, Line 7 of Form 1040 their individual tax return discussing their interest or signatory authority over any foreign account during the tax period; and moreover, in the event the balance in any single account or combination of foreign accounts is greater than $10,000 during the tax period, the taxpayer must also file an FBAR with the Financial Crimes Network.
  • It will not be hard for the U.S. Department of Treasury to find out about taxpayers reporting obligations today with the technology that is in existence. In fact, it is easier today than ever for information to be shared by business entities, governmental entities and individuals in seconds around the world.
  • The U.S. Treasury has negotiated operating and reporting agreements with governments around the world to share directly or indirectly financial banking information of U.S. citizens and Green Card holders.
  • LET ME JUST SAY, IT IS EXTREMELY UNLIKELY THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WILL NOT LEARN OF THESE EARNINGS AND FOREIGN ASSETS TODAY.

Interviewer: Reyna Munoz, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 3:

  • What can happen if a U.S. Citizen fails to report all of their gross income and fail to report their ownership interest in a foreign bank account?
  • First what is a foreign bank account anyway?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  • A foreign bank account is an account in a foreign institution, or an institution physically located outside of the borders of the U.S. and its territories. Branches of U.S. domiciled banks located overseas are not classified as a foreign bank for FBAR reporting purposes or IRS purposes.
  • Individuals who fail to comply with U.S. laws can expect there to be a gradation of criminal and civil exposure. What I mean by that is in the United States criminal penalties and civil penalties for violation of the law are graded based on level of culpability.  This is also true with regards to failure to voluntarily comply with the U.S tax laws.  The U.S. tax code imposes varies kinds of penalties for violations, such as tax evasion, failure to file penalties, negligent filing penalties.
  • As for failure to report interest in foreign accounts, the IRS is permitted to assess and collect civil penalties against any individual who fails to report their interest in a foreign account on a timely filed FBAR.
  • I have written numerous blogs with regards to the penalty structure designed to hold tax cheats accountable.

 Interviewer: Reyna Munoz, Tax Legal Assistant

QUESTION 4:

  • Attorney what could you at least explain what you mean by gradation of penalties?

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  • Okay, very well! Let me briefly describe what gradation of penalties means as it relates to failure to file a required FBAR.
  • If an individual’s failure to file an FBAR is deemed willful by the IRS, then the IRS has the discretion to assess a maximum penalty of $100,000 or 50 percent of the balance in the foreign account at the time of the violation. Whichever is higher is the collectable penalty.
  • Willfulness does not require actual knowledge of the duty to report interest in a foreign account. Reckless or careless disregard of their statutory duty to report their ownership or beneficiary interest in the foreign account is enough for the IRS assess and collect the penalty.
  • The IRS has been challenged in Courts around the country, and they have a pretty good betting record on winning the willfulness FBAR cases. Come on, just look; these cases are what lawyers routine call document cases. For example, (1) it’s easy to prove whether someone is a U.S. citizen or Green Card Holder because there is a U.S. birth Certificate or Naturalization  Certificate or Lawful Permanent Resident Card; (2) it’s easy to prove that the account is located outside of the U.S. and its territories because there are bank account statements; and (3) it’s easy to prove that the taxpayer filed a tax return failing to list the foreign bank account because there is Schedule B, Part III, Line 7 of IRS Form 1040.  Hey, three strikes and you are out.  Willfulness to violate the FBAR rules is not a very high burden for the IRS to carry in these FBAR violation cases.

Interviewer: Reyna Munoz, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 5:

  • Okay Attorney that sounds like three strikes. It might be hard to hit the ball.  But what about—
  • If the taxpayer hired a professional tax return preparer to prepare and file, the return? Could the taxpayer now say it was none willful?

Attorney: Coleman Jackson

ANSWER 5:

  • Well it depends on all the facts and circumstances as to whether a skillful negotiated and advocate could make out a defense.
  • But the main thing everyone should take away is this:
  • Taxpayers are deemed to have constructive knowledge of and responsibility for the contents of their tax returns which are signed under penalty of perjury.
  • Where immigrants are involved who lacks the knowledge of the English language, cultural norms in terms of voluntary tax reporting, educational challenges and other capacity factors, in these circumstances skillful advocacy might manage to turn what appears to be a willful violation into a none willful violation of U.S. law. People with foreign gross income and foreign account interest need to do their due diligence in picking tax professionals in preparation of U.S. tax returns and compliance with FBAR requires because the penalties for failing to comply are rough regardless of the gradation of the penalties.

Interviewer: Reyna Munoz, Tax Legal Assistant

Question 6:

  • Okay, I think I understand.
  • Attorney, you mentioned voluntary disclosure. Is there a way a person can get this right even after they failed to property report their gross income or foreign account?

Attorney: Coleman Jackson

ANSWER 6:

  • Yes, the IRS has voluntary disclosure programs. But the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or OVDP has ended and the IRS is no longer accepting taxpayers’ disclosures for failing to report foreign accounts under that program.
  • The various Streamlined Procedures Programs are still viable; but only if the violation is non willful. I have written blogs on this in the past and will not go into any more details here; other than, the taxpayer must make sure their actions were none willful because the IRS audits these submissions and if the IRS deems the actions of the taxpayer were willful violations rather than none willful violations, they could make a referral to IRS Criminal Investigations for possible referral to the U.S.  Justice Department.
  • The IRS also still have a FBAR only disclosure program that might be used by some taxpayers under appropriate circumstances.
  • Mayra, thanks for your questions on this topic. We have numerous blogs on foreign accounts on our law firm’s blog site.   We must go for now.

Attorney’s Concluding Remarks:

THIS IS END OF “LEGAL THOUGHTS” FOR NOW

  • Thank you for giving us the opportunity to inform you about What does the Long-Arm of the United States Tax Code Mean?”
  • We might discuss other aspects of this topic on gross income and foreign accounts matters in follow up podcasts or blogs in the near future.  If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C., subscribe to our podcast and stay tune!  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate, and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation, and immigration.  Until next time, take care.

Podcast – Foreign Investments and U.S. Income Tax? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts Podcast
Published September 02, 2020.

Foreign Investments and U.S. Income Tax

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “Foreign Investments and U.S. Income Tax?” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:
ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
LEGAL THOUGHTS
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas
  • Our topic for today is: “Foreign Investments and U.S. Income Tax?”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz,Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important tax topic: “Foreign Investments and U.S. Income Tax”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Good morning everyone. My name is Mayra Torres and I am the public relations associate at Coleman Jackson, P.C. Coleman Jackson, P.C. is a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based right here in Dallas, Texas. We help businesses, individuals and everyone with sales taxes,income taxes, gift and estate taxes and contracts drafting and negotiations and disputes and immigrants on a variety of business and family immigration matters from around the world.
  • Today Attorney we are discussing foreign investments and U.S. Income Tax Law. My first question is basic:

Question 1:

Are foreign corporations ever subject to U.S. income tax laws?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

Mayra, the simple answer is YES, SOMETIMES FOREIGN CORPORATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO U.S.INCOME TAX LAWS!

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

QUESTION 2:

  • Okay then, let me just change my question a little.
  • When are foreign corporations subject to U.S. income tax?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

A foreign corporation is taxed on its taxable income which is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States under Internal Revenue Code Section 882.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

  • Attorney what do you mean by the term “effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the U.S.”?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  • That is a very astute question! Think in terms of source of the increment or decrement of wealth of the foreign entity. What I mean is the term effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States means income, gain or loss incurred during a tax year from sources within the United States. The key to understanding the meaning of this term is the source of the income, gain or loss incurred by the foreign corporation. If the source of the income, gain or loss for the year is in the U.S., then the foreign corporation is engaged in a trade or business effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the U.S. and are subject to federal income taxation under Internal Revenue Code Section 882.
  • The application of this Code Section does not mean that the income, gain or loss have to come from a trade or business being conducted in the U.S. If the source of the income, gain or loss is in the U.S., Code Section 882 applies and the income, gain or loss is taxable.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 4:

  • Does the foreign corporation have to operate a business within the United States during the tax year in order for these rules to apply to income, gains or losses under Code Section 882?

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  • Yes, that is exactly right. In order for Code Section 882 to apply, the foreign corporation must be engaged in a trade or business within the United States during the particular tax year where the determination is being made whether income, gain or loss is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States under Internal Revenue Code Section 882.
  • The Code Section 882 determination is made at the close of each tax year. If a foreign corporation has income, gain or loss at any time during a tax year from a source within the U.S. and its engaged in a trade or business within the U.S. whether it be in a joint venture or partnership or limited liability company or similar affiliation with a U.S. entity, it is taxable income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the U.S. under IRC 882.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 5:

  • Wow! Attorney that is a lot to digest; can we continue this conversation in another podcast because I have a lot more questions? For example, are there any categories of income, gain or loss considered effectively connected to the United States even if its earned overseas by a foreigner?

Attorney Answers Question 5:

Yes, there are categories of foreign source income that are subject to U.S. income taxation as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the U.S. But you are right Mayra that is enough to ponder for now. We can continue this topic in a later podcast in about two weeks. Please subscribe to our podcast.

Mayra’s Concluding Remarks

  • I am looking forward to continuing this topic in about two weeks!
  • Anyone interested in hearing more about foreign investments and U.S. Taxation should subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever they listen to their podcast.We also have a lot of blogs going deep into the details of U.S. tax law, litigation and immigration law topics on Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s website at cjacksonlaw.com.

 Coleman Jackson, Attorney’s concluding remarks:

THIS IS THE END OF “LEGAL THOUGHTS” FOR NOW

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about foreign investments and U.S. taxation. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Stay tune! Watch for a new Legal Thoughts podcast in about two weeks.We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration. Until next time, take care.

Podcast – The Earned Income Tax Credit | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts Podcast
Published September 28, 2020.

 

The Earned Income Tax Credit - Podcast - Legal Thoughts

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “The Earned Income Tax Credit “. You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
LEGAL THOUGHTS
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas
  • Our topic for today is: “The Earned Income Tax Credit.”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz, Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important tax topic: “The Earned Income Tax Credit.”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Good afternoon everyone. My name is Mayra Torres and I am the public relations associate at Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Coleman Jackson, P.C. is a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based right here in Dallas, Texas.
  • Attorney many families’ household income during this dreadful Covid-19 pandemic has been terribly cut to the core. I mean folks are struggling financially just to pay their bills, keep a roof over their heads and buy basic food and necessities.  Besides killing way too many people, this virus has destroyed people’s livelihoods.  Folks can hardly make a fraction of the amount of money they were making before this dreadful disease happened.
  • This is a general question and I’m not sure even how to ask this question:
  • Question 1:

I recently heard some families talking about something called earned income tax credit.  What is an earned income tax credit, who qualifies and how do they apply?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

  • Good afternoon Mayra.
  • Internal Revenue Code Section 32 allows an earned income tax credit for certain eligible individuals who work and meet certain criteria established under Section 32. The income tax credit is a refundable tax credit based on earned income that is available to certain low to modest wage earners.  IRC Section 32 applies to individuals not corporations, partnerships, or any other form of business entity.  The earned income credit is designed to offset some of the cost of living expenses for low to modest income taxpayers to ease the economic strain and rigor on them and their families.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 2:

  • Other than the work requirement and being an individual, what are the other qualifying criteria for the earned income credit?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

  • In order to qualify the individual taxpayer must meet a number of different requirements. Different sets of rules apply in determining the earned income credit for taxpayers with qualifying children and taxpayers without qualifying children.  If an individual is the qualifying child of more than one taxpayer, only one taxpayer can claim that person as a qualifying child for purposes of the earned income credit.  Internal Revenue Code Section 32 also establishes certain qualifying income levels and provide phase out provisions blocking high income individuals from benefiting from the earned income tax credit.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

  • Attorney could you explain in more details the following distinctions:
    1. What are the qualifying criteria for taxpayers with children?
    2. What are the qualifying criteria for the earned income credit for taxpayers without children?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  • Mayra, that is an excellent idea to hopefully help our listeners to understand this better. Let metake these in the order that you have suggested:
  • First: The Taxpayer who have a qualifying child for the tax year is eligible for the earned income tax credit if she meets the following seven requirements in addition to the earned income criteria –
    1. the taxpayer has taxable income for the tax year;
    2. the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income does not exceed a specified ceiling amount;
    3. the taxpayer does not have more than a specified ceiling amount for investments;
    4. the taxpayer is a United States Citizen or Resident for the entire year and if married, the taxpayer is married to a United States Citizen or Resident or, if taxpayer is married to a nonresident, the taxpayer must file an election for the nonresident to be taxed as a Resident. In this event the nonresident’s worldwide income is subject to U.S. taxation;
    5. the taxpayer must use the filing status of married filing jointly, single, head of household, or widower with children. Taxpayer cannot qualify for the earned income tax credit filing married filing separate;
    6. the taxpayer has a valid social security number; and
    7. the taxpayer does not claim the foreign earned income tax credit or the foreign housing tax credit
  • Second: The Taxpayer who does not have a qualifying Child during the tax year is eligible for the earned income tax credit only if the taxpayer meets all four of the following requirements in addition to the earned income criteria:
    1. The taxpayer and spouse; if any, are between the ages of 25 and 64. Note that the couple can meet this particular requirement if either the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse is within these age requirements;
    2. The taxpayer resided in the United States for more than half the tax year;
    3. The taxpayer was not claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s tax return for the tax year; and
    4. The taxpayer is not a qualifying child of another taxpayer for the tax year.

 Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 4:

  • Attorney what is a qualifying child for the purpose of the earned income tax credit?

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  • A qualifying child is defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 32 as someone who meets four tests:
    1. The child must be the taxpayer’s son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, or a descendant of such person or the taxpayer’s brother, sister, half brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister, or a descendant of such person;
    2. The child must be under 19 years of age at the end of the tax year and the child must be younger than the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse if the couple is filing a joint tax return. There are special rules that applies to students and disabled individuals when it comes to the earned income credit age requirements;
    3. The child must live in the taxpayer’s home within the United States for more than six months out of the tax year. There are certain temporary absences rules that applies in calculating the residency requirement under Internal Revenue Regulations Section 1.152-2(a)(2)(ii);
    4. The married child of the taxpayer cannot be a qualifying child of the taxpayer  if the married child of the taxpayer files a tax return with their spouse; except, solely for the purpose of filing a claim for refund and the married child is the taxpayer’s dependent.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 5:

  • That That is a lot to digest! I mean what types of income is included to determine whether the taxpayer meets the earned income criteria in the first place?
  • And what happens if the taxpayer misunderstands these tax rules and claims the earned income tax credit by mistake or something?

Attorney Answers Question 5:

  • For clarity purposes Mayra; let me answer your two questions step by step:
  • First:
  • What types of income is included to determine whether the taxpayer meets the earned incomecriteria in the first place?
  • Earned income typically consists of-
    1. Wages, tips, and other types of employee compensation;
    2. Net earnings from self-employment;
    3. And certain taxable disability payments received by a taxpayer prior to reaching the minimum retirement age;
    4. Extra pay earned by active duty soldiers in a military combat zone pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 112;
    5. There might be other types of income, but, these are the basic categories of income that are included in computing the earned income tax credit. I might add that some categories of income are specifically excluded from income for purposes of computing the earned income tax credit, such, investment income, social security income, welfare benefits, unemployment compensation, community property income and any other income exclusions specifically mentioned in Internal Revenue Code Section 32(c)(2)(a)(i).
  • What was your second question Mayra? Could you repeat it again?

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 6:

  • Oh, sure I would be glad to attorney. My question was-
  • What happens if the taxpayer misunderstands these tax rules and claims the earned income tax credit on their filed tax return by mistake or something?

Attorney Answers Question 6:

  • Taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of any tax return that they file or someone else files on their behalf with the Internal Revenue Service and there can be civil and criminal consequences for filing inaccurate returns. Detailed Earned Income Computation Worksheets are contained in IRS Publication No. 596.  The taxpayer should read this publication very carefully, especially, if they prepare their own tax return and are contemplating claiming the earned income credit.
  • In the event the taxpayer is using a paid tax return preparer to prepare their return and claim an earned income tax credit, they must perform their due diligence in selecting a qualified tax return preparer. The tax return preparer who is a paid tax return preparer of a tax return claiming the earned income credit must sign the return and complete and sign Form 8867, Paid Preparer’s Earned Income Credit Checklist and attach it to each return filed with the IRS claiming the earned income tax credit.  Form 8867 also applies to returns filing head of household, child tax credit and additional child tax credit.  The taxpayer must make sure Form 8867 is properly completed and filed with their tax return; so that, they can demonstrate that they possibly acted in good faith and reasonable in claiming an earned income credit for the tax year.  This could form the basis for a reasonable cause defense in the event the IRS challenges the earned income tax credit position on the tax return; or these due diligence steps could form the basis for a tax preparer negligence claim.  There is an inflation adjusted preparer penalty of $500 which applies when the tax preparer fails to complete Form 8867.
  • If a taxpayer claims the earned income credit in a previous year though they were not eligible and the IRS determines that the error was due to reckless or intentional disregard of the earned income credit rules, the taxpayer could be prohibited from claiming the credit on subsequent tax returns for two years pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 32(k)(1)(B)(ii).

Mayra’s Concluding Remarks

  • Attorney, thank you for very clear responses to all my questions concerning the Earned Income Credit.
  • I understand the earned income tax credit better now than when we first began discussing it this afternoon.
  • Our listeners who want to hear more podcast like this one should subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever they listen to our podcast. Everybody take care!  And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, P.C., which is located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas 75206.
  • English callers: 214-599-0431 and Spanish callers:  214-599-0432.

Coleman Jackson, Attorney’s concluding remarks:

 THIS IS THE END OF “LEGAL THOUGHTS” FOR NOW

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about the earned income tax credit. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Stay tune!  Watch for a new Legal Thoughts podcast in about two weeks.  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration.  Until next time, take care.

Podcast – Exclusion from Gross Income | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts Podcast
Published October 7, 2020

Exclusion from Gross Income

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “Income from Discharge of Indebtedness.” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
LEGAL THOUGHTS
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas
  • Our topic for today is: “Income from Discharge of Indebtedness.”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz, Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important tax topic: ““Income from Discharge of Indebtedness.”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Good morning everyone. It is a pretty chilly Autumn morning today! My name is Mayra Torres and I am the public relations associate at Coleman Jackson, P.C. We are a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based right here in Dallas, Texas.
  • Question 1:  Attorney:  Is all income taxable in the United States?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

  • Good morning Mayra. Wow that is a broad question this morning! Let me begin with Internal Revenue Code Section 61 where gross income is defined in U.S. Tax Law. That is where we must begin our discussion of taxable income in U.S. tax law. Gross income is defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 61 as all income from whatever source derived.
  • The Internal Revenue Code contains a laundry list of types of income that are taxable, but IRC Section 61 specifically states that the list is not intended to be exhaustive or complete. The types of income specifically included on the gross income laundry list are:
    1. Compensation for services, including fees, commissions, fringe benefits, and similar items;
    2. Gross income derived from business;
    3. Gains derived from dealings in property;
    4. Interest;
    5. Rents;
    6. Royalties;
    7. Dividends
    8. Alimony and separate maintenance payments;
    9. Annuities;
    10. Income from life insurance and endowment contracts;
    11. Pensions;
    12. Income from discharge of indebtedness;
    13. Distributive share of partnership gross income;
    14. Income in respect of a decedent; and
    15. Income from an interest in an estate or trust
  • Repeat: This list of taxable gross income is not exhaustive. Gross income under U.S. Tax Law is extremely broad and envision taxation of increments of wealth constituted in whatever shape or form.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Attorney that is a lot. Let me see whether we can narrow down our discussion to this!
  • QUESTION 2: Is any income excluded from gross income for U.S. tax purposes?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

  • Mayra, that indeed is a good strategy because as I have said the concept of gross income in U.S. tax law is a global concept. Gross income includes income derived from whatever source derived.
  • As for income that is excluded from gross income for tax purposes. Let me just limit our discussions to income from discharge of indebtedness since this could potentially be a looming problem as the economic impact of Covid-19 continues to hammer many families in their pocketbooks. Internal Revenue Code Section 108(a) states that gross income does not include any amount which would otherwise be includible in gross income by reason of the discharge of indebtedness of the taxpayer if
    1. The discharge occurs in a title 11 bankruptcy case;
    2. The discharge occurs when the taxpayer is insolvent;
    3. The indebtedness discharged is qualified farm indebtedness;
    4. In the case of a taxpayer other than a C corporation, the indebtedness discharged is qualified real property business indebtedness; or
    5. The indebtedness discharged is qualified principal residence indebtedness which is discharged-
      • Before January 1, 2021 , or
      • Subject to an arrangement that is entered into and evidenced in writing before January 1,2021.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Okay, you have listed about five categories there. Right now, could you please explain the last one you mentioned in the list in more detail.
  • Question 3: Explain what qualified principal residence indebtedness is and how it works and all?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  • Mayra, the term principal residence indebtedness means the debt financing the taxpayer’s principal residence or place where the taxpayer resides most of the time. This is the main residence of the taxpayer.
  • The mortgage on the taxpayer’s main residence must meet both of these prongs or conditions:
    1. the mortgage must have been taking out to purchase, build, or substantially improve the taxpayer main home; and
    2. the mortgage must secure the taxpayer’s main home
    3. Let me just add that the taxpayer cannot have but one main residence which turns on all the facts and circumstances. The debt can be a second mortgage obligation if it meets requirements one and two.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Question 4:
  • Attorney how much of this qualified principal residence indebtedness is eligible for exclusion from the gross income of the taxpayer?

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  • Well, first of all let me say, the list of exclusions have a pecking order that taxpayers must be aware of; for example, the discharge of debt in a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceeding preempts all other exclusions under Code Section 108. And the insolvency exclusion that I mentioned awhile ago takes precedence over the farm debt exclusion and the qualified real property exclusion; and the principal residence indebtedness exclusion takes precedence over the insolvency exclusion unless the taxpayer makes the proper elections.
  • Now, let’s go back to your original question Mayra; please repeat your question again so that we can be clear on this.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Sure, no problem, Attorney! Thanks for pointing out the pecking order of the various exclusions.My original question was…
  • Question 5: How much of the qualified principal residence indebtedness that is forgiven by the lender is excluded from the gross income of the taxpayer?

Attorney Answers Question 5:

  • Okay, let me make four very important points as it relates to the amount of the exclusion of cancellation of debt income of certain qualified principal residence indebtedness:
    • Number 1: the exclusion of residence indebtedness only applies, for the most part, to debt discharged after 2006 and before 2021 or at least the taxpayer needs to have a written discharge agreement in place by December 31, 2020
    • Number 2: the maximum amount of forgiven debt that the taxpayer can treat as qualified principal residence indebtedness is $2 million dollars or $1 million if filing married filing separate; and
    • Number 3: The discharged debt must be directly related to decline in the market value of the taxpayer’s main home or directly due to the taxpayer’s disrupted or poor financial condition.
    • Number 4: The exclusion amount is limited to the part of the discharged loan that is qualified principal residence indebtedness. That simply means that the exclusion is limited to the portion of the discharged debt that meets the definition of qualified principal residence indebtedness that I discussed at the beginning of this discussion.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

  • Question No. 6: Attorney, how does a taxpayer actually take the qualified principal residence debt exclusion? I mean is this on the tax return they file or what?

Attorney Answers Question 6:

  • Yes, the taxpayer must attach tax Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness to their annual income tax return filed with the IRS and comply with appropriate instructions explaining their tax position.
  • Mayra, do you have any further questions with respect to types of income excluded from gross income? So far, we mostly have talked about qualified principal residence debt exclusion. And there are many aspects of this topic that we have not explored. I mean we could talk more about debt extinguished through repossessions and foreclosures. Any specific additional questions at this time on this debt cancellation topic?

Mayra’s Concluding Remarks

  • Attorney,Attorney thank you for answering my questions. I do have more questions involving the exclusion of canceled debt from U.S. taxation, but I can put them off to some other time.
  • Our listeners who want to hear more podcast like this one should subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever they listen to our podcast. Everybody take care!  And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, litigation and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, P.C., which is located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Dallas, Texas 75206.
  • English callers: 214-599-0431 and Spanish callers:  214-599-0432.

 Coleman Jackson, Attorney’s concluding remarks:

 THIS IS THE END OF “LEGAL THOUGHTS” FOR NOW

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you the exclusions of cancellation of debt income from U.S. taxes. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Stay tune!  Watch for a new Legal Thoughts podcast in about two weeks.  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate, and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration.  Until next time, take care.

Podcast – Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Published July 9, 2020

Podcast - Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law?” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
Legal Thoughts
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.
  • Our topic for today is: “Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law?”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz, Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important tax topic: “Who is a Resident Alien Under U.S. Tax Law?”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 1:

Good morning, Coleman. This is Mayra. I do have a couple of questions for you when it comes to umm… a resident alien under U.S. tax law. Who or what is considered a Resident Alien under U.S. Tax Law?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

  • S. tax law defines the term Alien in the following ways:
    1. Nonresident Alien; and
    2. Resident Alien
  • I am going to go into further details on both; but our main focus in this podcast will be on the Resident Alien. Anyone who is interested to learn more about how a nonresident alien is impacted by U.S. tax law can subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever they get their podcasts.
    1. Nonresident Alien is defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 7701(b)(1)(B) as any individual who is not a citizen of the United States and who do not meet either the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test for Resident Alien.
    2. Internal Revenue Code Section 7701(a)(9) includes only the 50 States and the District of Columbia in determining whether an alien is a nonresident alien. The law does not include U.S. possessions, territories, or U.S. airspace. For example, Guam is not included in making the determination as to whether an alien is a nonresident alien.
    3. I am now going to focus this podcast strictly on the question: Who is a Resident Alien in U.S. Tax law?
    4. There are two test or measures used in U.S. tax law to determine whether an alien is a resident alien under U.S. tax laws as follows:
      • Green Card Test: Under this test an individual is a Resident Alien (should be simply U.S. Resident, but as I mentioned the law still says resident alien, nevertheless) Under the Green Card test an individual is a U.S. resident if the individual was a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during the calendar year.
      • An individual is a Green Card Holder if they have become a Lawful Permanent Resident under the immigration laws of the United States 8 United States Code.
      • For U.S. tax purposes lawful permanent residence status continues unless the status is rescinded administratively or rescinded by a U.S. federal Court, such as, in a deportation proceeding by an Immigration Court.
      • An LPR can also abandon their Green Card Status by following the appropriate procedures or any Consular Officer or Border Protection Officer possibly could argue that the LPR status has been abandoned under circumstances described in U.S. Immigration Laws. U.S. tax regulations Section 301.7701(b) sets forth the Internal Revenue Codes positions concerning the Green Card test in determining whether an Alien is a Resident of the United States based on the Green Card test.
  • Now let us turn to the second test used by the IRS in determining whether an alien is a Resident Alien of the United States. The second test is known as the Substantial Presence Test. Under the substantial presence test, an individual is a Resident Alien or U.S. Resident if they are physically present within the United States on at least:
    1. 31 days during the current calendar year; and
    2. a total of 183 days during the current year and the two preceding years, counting each day of physical presence in the current year as one whole day, each day of presence in the first preceding year as one-third of a day., and each day of presence in the second preceding year as one-sixth of a day. Fractional days derived from these computations are not counted towards substantial presence.
  • I know this may sound very complicated to non-tax lawyers or Certified Public Accountants; the Substantial Presence Test is explained in excruciating detail in Internal Revenue Regulation Section 301.7701(b)-1(c)(1). And both the Green Card Test and Substantial Presence Test is codified in 26 United States Code Section 7701.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question No 2:

I am just curious, are there any exceptions to this Substantial Presence Test. I mean, you are always saying the law is complicated and that there are often exceptions to the rules. What about now… are there any folks exempt from the Substantial Presence Test?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

  • The following individuals are exempt from the Substantial Presence Test pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 7701:
    1. International Students
    2. Professional Athletes
    3. Diplomats and their immediate family members
    4. Teachers on the J Visa immigration status and their immediate family members.
    5. Full time Employees of international organizations and their families that have been appropriately designate by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State of the United States.
    6. Regular commuters from Mexico and Canada are not generally considered meeting the substantial presence test.
    7. There might be a few other exceptions; but these are the ones I can recall right now. I might add that even within these exceptions there are further particulars that I am just not going to get into right now.
    8. The actual application of the substantial presence test is very complex, and anyone impacted by these issues should consult with qualified tax professionals in their area.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

Well alright then. What are some of the United States tax consequences to an individual meeting either the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  1. S. residents who meet either the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test must comply with all U.S. tax laws (I am using this term for resident aliens because I think it sounds more humane and welcoming).
  2. S. residents are generally taxed in the same manner as U.S. citizens. They are taxed on their worldwide income the same as U.S. citizens.
  3. S. residents must report their income by filing the appropriate federal tax return complying with all the reporting requirements applicable to U.S. citizen taxpayers.
  4. S. residents are allowed exclusions from gross income with respect to certain income earned, such as, certain compensation paid by foreign employers, nontaxable dividends, gains from sale of home and other types of income specifically excluded from gross income for U.S. taxation purposes.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question No. 4

  • S. residents are taxed just like U.S. Citizens pretty much. I get that. But what about that $600 per week people are receiving under the CARES Act?
  • Can resident aliens (foreigners who satisfy the Green Card Test or Substantial Presence Test) receive that $600 per week too? And what about people who don’t have their papers? How and where do resident aliens apply.

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  • Yes, individuals who satisfy the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test can qualify to receive the weekly $600 emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits under the CARES Act because Subtitle B Section 6428.2020(2)(b)(d) says that nonresident alien individuals do not qualify.
  • Remember I spoke earlier about an alien can be either (1) a nonresident alien or (2) a resident alien for U.S. tax purposes. If an alien satisfies the Green Card test or the Substantial Presence Test they are classified as Resident Aliens (I like to use the term U.S. Resident) for tax purposes. And yes, undocumented individuals can satisfy the Substantial Presence Test and be treated as Resident Aliens for tax purposes. They typically should apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number otherwise called an ITIN to comply with U.S. tax laws.
  • There is no mention of Resident Aliens being unqualified to receive the $600 emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits in the CARES Act. In Texas, these individuals (U.S. Residents) apply for this federal emergency increase of $600 with the Texas Workforce Commission at the same time they file an Unemployment claim based on loss of employment as the result of Covid-19. I think Resident Aliens or U.S. Residents qualifies to receive the weekly $600 under the CARES Act.

Attorney’s Concluding Remarks:

This is the end of Legal Thoughts for now!

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about who is a resident alien of the United States under U. S. tax law. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Subscribe on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast. Stay tune! We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate, and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation, and immigration. Until next time, take care.

Podcast – Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Published June 29, 2020

Podcast - Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair?” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
Legal Thoughts
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.
  • Our topic for today is: “Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair?”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz, Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and our Immigration Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz will be reading answers that I previously wrote in response to the questions on this important tax topic: “Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair?”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 1:

Hello, Good morning Coleman. My name is Mayra Torres, for everyone who hasn’t met me yet, I am the Public Relations Associate at Coleman Jackson, P.C. Umm… todays first question is regarding Wayfair. What Businesses Located Outside of Texas are Required to Collect and Remit Sales Taxes to the State of Texas after Wayfair. Who is “Wayfair”?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

Wayfair refers to a united states supreme court decision decided by the court on June 21, 2018 in a case that is called south Dakota vs Wayfair, Inc. The case involved a sales tax dispute between south Dakota and Wayfair, Inc.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 2:

Well what was the dispute about?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

Wayfair, Inc. Was not located in south Dakota and had no physical presence within The state.

Wayfair, Inc. Sold goods from its remote location to customers who lived in South Dakota. The question in this case was: “when can an out-of-state seller be required to Collect and remit sales tax to a state where they have no physical presence.”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

So, why was that even in doubt that South Dakota could make Wayfair an out-of-state Seller collect taxes on purchases of goods and services by south Dakota Residents?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  • That is an excellent question. I am going to explain the concerns with respect to States imposing legal duties on out of state residents as it relates to sales Taxation: the issue here is the free flow of interstate commerce!
    1. The constitution of the united states gives congress the power to regulate Commerce in article 1, section 8, clause 3.
    2. The concern of the framers of the constitution was division within the United states where states are fighting among themselves imposing economic Burdens on the free flow of commerce.
    3. The commerce clause limits the states regulation of commerce
  • The U.S. Supreme Court will allow a State tax on Commerce so long as it meets all of these conditions:
    1. The tax applies to an activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing State;
    2. The tax is fairly apportioned;
    3. The tax does not discriminate against interstate commerce; and
    4. The tax is fairly related to the services the State provides.
  • Condition Number 1 is the only one in question in the Wayfair Case: the tax applies to an activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing State:
  • In those states that have a sales tax statute, before Wayfair, sellers had to have a physical presence within a state in order for that state to impose a liability on a merchant to collect sales taxes on purchases of goods and services. That is known as the Quill physical presence test from the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1992 called Quill Corporation vs. North Dakota.
  • After Wayfair, which involves South Dakota, out-of-state sellers can be held responsible for collection and payment of sales taxes to a state by selling a product or service to customers within the state. The Court said that physical presence in a State can be established merely by selling goods and services to customers in the State. No employees or offices or other physical presence is required in order to establish substantial nexus in the taxing state. So now mere shipping goods and services into a state may bring remote sellers within the scope of out-of-state sales tax statutes. The Supreme Court in Wayfair said that imposing this sales tax collection, remittance and reporting requirement in some circumstances did not violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, Article 1, Clause 3.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 4:

Okay…. What Texas… Who is a remote seller selling goods and services to people who live in Texas? Are they liable to collect, remit, report, and keep records of Texas taxable sales?

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  1. A remote seller is defined in Texas Tax Code Rule 3.286(a)(4)(l) and (J) as any seller whose only activities in Texas are the remote solicitation of sales, which includes activities such as solicitation by catalogs, flyers, radio, television, telephone or internet.
  2. Sellers outside of Texas who sell goods and services to Texas residents are required to collect, remit and report Texas sales and use tax effective October 1, 2019 if they made total sales of $500,000 into Texas for a prior 12-month period. If the appropriate sales tax is not properly collected the Use tax must be submitted to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
  3. And yes, remote sellers must keep proper books and records of all Texas taxable sales transactions and have them available for inspection and examination in compliance with 34 Texas Tax Code Section 3.281. The TAC specifically identifies the types of records that all sellers of taxable goods and services must maintain for 4 years.
  4. Texas Comptroller Auditors are permitted to estimate taxable sales in the event a seller fails to maintain and present the required records for inspection at the request of the Texas Comptroller.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 5:

What are the Texas Sales and Use Tax Rate?

Attorney Answers Question 5:

  1. The current sales tax rate is 6.25 percent State rate and each local taxing authority can charge up to 2.0 percent. The maximum allowable sales tax rate in Texas is 8.25 percent.
  2. As for remote sellers, Texas permits them to charge a flat rate of 1.75 percent instead of the local rate which changes from county to county, city to city and school district to school district throughout the State. Remote sellers make this election by filing form 01-799, Remote Seller’s Intent to Elect or Revoke Use of Single Local Use Tax Rate with the Comptroller’s Office. If the remote seller does not make this election, they must compute, collect and remit the local tax based on the local tax applicable to the location to which they shipped the goods or performed the service.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 6:

So, who administers the Limited Sales, Use and Excise Tax laws in Texas?

Attorney Answers Question 6:

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 7:

Are all remote sellers required to do this now?

Attorney Answers Question 7:

  • No; these requirements do not apply to all remote sellers.
  • A remote seller whose total Texas revenue from sales into Texas in the preceding 12 calendar months are less than $500,000 is not required to obtain a sales tax permit and they are not required to collect and remit any sales tax to Texas. The sales are computed on gross revenue not net revenue.
  • As of April 1, 2020, remote sellers must combine sales made through all mediums with delivery into Texas to determine whether they must collect, remit and report Texas Sales.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 8:

Wow, it seems like a somewhat complex issue.

Attorney Answers Question 8:

  • Yes, we have just a brief outline here of the issues and sales tax laws applicable to remote sellers since the Wayfair decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Listeners should stay tune and follow our podcast and read our blogs as we might revisit this topic in the future.

Attorney’s Concluding Remarks:

This is end of “legal thoughts” for now!

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about how the Texas Tax Code requires remote sellers to collect, remit and report sales taxes on sales made to Texas residents to the Texas Comptroller. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Stay tune! We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate, and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration. Until next time, take care.

Podcast – Does unemployment compensation recipients have to pay federal taxes on the money received resulting from Covid-19? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Published July 14, 2020 Podcast - Does unemployment compensation recipients have to pay federal taxes on the money received resulting from Covid-19? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.

The topic of discussion is “Is Unemployment Compensation Received Taxable Income?” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:  

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or where ever you may listen to your podcast.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
Legal Thoughts
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.
  • Our topic for today is: “Is Unemployment Compensation Received Taxable Income?”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz,Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our Public Relations Associate, Mayra Torres, will be asking the questions and I will be providing the answers to the questions on this important tax topic: Is Unemployment Compensation Received Taxable Income?

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 1:

What are unemployment benefits?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

  • Unemployment benefits generally includes any amount of money received under any federal or state law program designed to protect taxpayers against loss of income caused by involuntary loss of employment or decrease in compensation.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

QUESTION 2:

Who is eligible to receive unemployment benefits?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

  • Keep in mind that unemployment benefits, as a general policy, is governed by State and federal labor laws and are designed to replace in whole or part the loss of employee wages due to some involuntary lay off or employment disruption.
  • Unemployment programs are administered by the States and each State has its own rules as to who qualifies and how they should apply. In Texas, the Texas Workforce Commission administers the Texas Unemployment Compensation System.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

  • Well okay, I kind of understand. But there is a lot of talk about the CARES Act and something about$600 dollars people are receiving.
  • What is the CARES ACT? Does it affect unemployment benefits… like, who qualifies and how they apply and how much they get and how long they can get unemployment benefits?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  • Those are excellent questions!
  • The CARES Act was enacted into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. CARES stand for the Corona virus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. It is a $12, trillion-dollar economic relief package featuring extensive tax provisions. It is Public Law 116-136 (3/27/2020). And yes it does impact who qualifies for unemployment compensation, how they apply and how much they receive it and for how long if their loss income is related to Covid-19.
  • Employees who lost jobs qualify
  • Self-employed individuals qualify under the CARES Act
  • Qualified individuals impacted by Covid-19 must file unemployment claims through the State governmental agency who regulate unemployment benefits in their State. Residence in Texas must file claims with the Texas Workforce Commission and follow all filing requirements and follow-up guidance that TWC requires to obtain their compensation. Keep in mind that TWC rules and requirements may continue to change as the State continues to reopen its economy during this pandemic.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 4:

Okay…. And what about undocumented workers and self-employed people; can they file for

unemployment benefits with TWC too?

Attorney Answers Question 4:

Yes, workers and self-employed individuals do not have to be United States citizens or lawful permanent residents to qualify for unemployment. All residence of Texas who had employment prior to the Covid-19 Crisis can file for unemployment.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 5:

What about the $600 everybody is talking about; how do unemployed people get that?

Attorney Answers Question 5:

  • The CARES Act not only expanded the eligibility for unemployment to self-employed individuals like I mentioned before; the Act also extended coverage by 13 weeks and provides unemployed individuals with an extra $600 per week of federal assistance on top of the State benefits.
  • Qualified individuals apply for this extra $600 per week federal benefit when they file their State Unemployment Claim. Again, in Texas everything is filed with the Texas Workforce Commission.Contact TWC for help in filing an unemployment claim in Texas. The TWC rules are in flux as the State reopens during this pandemic.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 6:

  • Okay, I was just curious; many folks are afraid of going back to work because they might get sick or get their families sick.
  • Can somebody continue to receive unemployment even though their boss tell them that they can come back to work now?

Attorney Answers Question 6:

  • Unemployment benefits are for people who loss their jobs or income due to no fault of their own. People who quit their jobs generally will not qualify for unemployment compensation in Texas. I say generally because facts and circumstances matter. Application of the law can be messy at times because facts matters. Perhaps an unemployed individual can make out a winnable case that it’s too dangerous for them to return to work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • But, Keep in mind that people who file initial and continuation claims for benefits with TWC provides self-certification under penalty of perjury that they are otherwise able to work and are available for work under the Texas Labor Code that governs such matters in Texas.
  • The rules concerning this question may change from day to day or week to week as the State of Texas reopens during this pandemic.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 7

  • Okay, I understand; it sounds like it just depends on all the facts, and circumstances and State and federal government rules updates.
  • Another BIG QUESTION A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE IS THIS!
  • Do unemployed individuals have to pay taxes on unemployment benefits that they receive?

Attorney Answers Question 7:

  • The tax treatment of unemployment benefits received depends on the type of program paying the benefits.
  • I am going to try to keep this simple; but folks must understand that the federal and state program funding the compensation can impact whether the amounts received are taxable.
  • I am going to limit my answer to only three types of unemployment benefits that I think are germane to the types of benefits that most people are receiving during this Covid-19 national emergency:
  • Types of Unemployment Benefits that are Taxable
    1. Benefits paid by a State or the District of Columbia from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund
    2. State Unemployment insurance benefits
    3. Unemployment assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974
  • Conclusion: Most people receiving unemployment due to Covid-19 falls under one of these programs. The benefits are taxable!

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 8

I think I’m getting it now! What about the extra $600 per week from CARES Act, is it taxable too?

Attorney Answers Question 8:

  • Yes, unemployment compensation received under the CARES Act is taxable because the CARES Act does not specifically exempt the $600 extra unemployment compensation from federal taxation.
  • In fact, the CARES Act states that in the event there is a conflict in the CARES Act with provisions in the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, then the provisions of the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974 controls. As we have seen, benefits received under the 1974 Act is taxable.
  • So, the answer to your question is, yes, unless Congress exempts the $600 from federal taxation, it is taxable under Internal Revenue Code Section 85(a).

 Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 9

When does the taxes on that unemployment money have to be paid?

Attorney Answers Question 9:

  • Those filing for unemployment can ask TWC to withhold the appropriate amount of tax from their unemployment compensation. Make this choice by giving TWC Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request; or
  • They may have to file estimated taxes by the 15th day of the end of each quarter. They can compute this amount on Form 1040-ES and make their estimated payments to the IRS by phone,online or by mail.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 10

What if people don’t know and never ask TWC to withhold the money and never do this

estimated tax thing?

Attorney Answers Question 10:

  • If taxpayers don’t pay enough taxes during a year, either by withholding or by estimated tax deposits, or some combination of the two, they may have to pay an underpayment penalty.
  • The federal tax system in the United States is a pay-as-you-go self-certification system. But keep in mind, the IRS and the taxpayer will probably receive a Form 1099-G from TWC for all unemployment compensation paid during the course of the calendar year.

 Attorney’s Concluding Remarks:

This is end of Legal Thoughts for now

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about taxation of unemployment compensation. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Stay tune! We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration. Until next time, take care.

 

Podcast – Did Your Families ITINs Expire In 2019? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Published July 14, 2020

Did Your Families ITINs Expire In 2019

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.

The topic of discussion is “Potentially Over 2 Million ITINs Expired at the End of 2019:  Did your families ITINs expire in 2019.”  You can listen to this podcast here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or where ever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
Legal Thoughts
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.
  • Our topic for today is: “Potentially Over 2 Million ITINs Expired at the End of 2019: Did your families ITINs expire in 2019.”
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important tax topic: “Potentially Over 2 Million ITINs Expired at the End of 2019: Did your families ITINs expire?”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 1:

What is an ITIN and who uses an ITIN?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

  1. Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers or ITINs are used by people who have federal tax filing or federal tax payment obligations under U.S. federal tax law who are not eligible for a Social Security number.
  2. ITINs are used by many Texans who are not authorized to work in the United States because they do not have work authorizations issued by the Department of Homeland Security; therefore, these workers cannot obtain a Social Security number from the Social Security Administration. I point out that an ITIN cannot be used for work authorization purposes; it is solely to be used for tax compliance purposes.
  3. Many undocumented individuals who live and work in the United States use ITINs which are issued by the United States Treasury for tax purposes. Whole families quite often use ITINs to fulfill their tax obligations and many undocumented children also use ITIN’s so that their parents can take the child tax credit, earned income credit and other benefits offered to taxpayers in the Internal Revenue Code.

Interviewer:  Mayra, Public Relations Associate

Question No. 2

  • Oh, I see; thanks for giving me a full answer to my questions.
  • I have a few more questions…: Are ITINs like a Social Security Number; I mean Social Security Numbers issued by the Social Security Administration are assigned to a person for life, right?  How about the ITIN issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury?  Is an ITIN issued to a person for life too?

Attorney Answers Question No. 2

  • Those are extremely good questions, Mayra.
  • A Social Security Number issued to a person by the Social Security Administration is issued to them for life. That means a person receives only one social security number that they use their entire lives.  Most social security numbers are assigned when U.S. citizens are children.  They keep that number for life.
  • No, the ITIN is not issued for the life of the recipient. The U.S. Congress passed a law called “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) which became law on December 18, 2015.
  • The PATH Act modified U.S. Tax law, 26 U.S.C. Section 6109 as it pertains to ITINs in two major ways:
  • Number 1: ITINs that have not been used on a tax return for 3 tax periods expire.  For example, ITINs not used on a tax return in 2014, 2015, or 2016 expired December 31, 2017.  ITINs not used on a tax return for 2015, 2016 or 2017 expired December 31, 2018.  And ITINs not used on a tax return for 2016, 2017, and 2018 expired on December 31, 2019.
  • WARNING: Filing delinquent tax returns are extremely problematic because household ITINs expire by 3 years of none use automatically.  This is a major development regarding ITINs since the PATH Act became law in the United States.
  • Now, let me discuss the second major change to tax law by enactment of the PATH Act:
  • The PATH Act of 2015 authorized the Internal Revenue Service to develop and implement an annual rolling middle digit expiration schedule for all ITINs in circulation.
  • Under this rolling middle digit expiration schedule, the IRS makes an annual announcement listing the middle digits of ITINs which will expire end of that calendar year. This list of expiring ITINs is usually posted on IRS.gov and possibly in financial newspapers.
  • Since publishing the list of expiring ITINs over the years since the PATH Act, the IRS has announced that the following middle digit ITINs would expire if not properly renewed by the holder of the ITIN:
  • All ITINs with middle digits of 70, 71, 72 or 80 expired on December 31, 2017 if not properly renewed.
  • All ITINs with middle digits of 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, or 82 expired on December 31, 2018.
  • All ITINs with middle digits of 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 expired on December 31, 2019.
  • Let me just say that the IRS announced on October 10, 2019 that these ITINs can be renewed if the holder files a Form W-7 with the proper paperwork. Moreover, the IRS also said that ITINs with middle digits of 70 through 82 that expired in 2016, 2017 and 2018 can also be renewed if the proper paperwork is filed.  So people should understand that they can renew an expired ITIN.

Interviewer:  Mayra, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

Wow that is a lot!  It’s good to know that ITIN users can renew their expiring and expired ITINs.  So how are ITINs renewed?  I mean what does an ITIN user have to do to renew their ITIN?

Attorney Answers Question No. 3 

  • Those are good questions, Mayra.
  • The ITIN holder should have received an IRS Notice CP-48 alerting them to the fact that their ITIN was about to expire. This notice would have given them detailed instructions as to how to renew their ITIN.  This Notice however could have been sent to the address where they lived at the time they originally applied for their ITIN.
  • If they did not receive the notice and instructions, they can still renew their ITIN by filing IRS Form W-7 and complying with all the instructions listed in the W-7 Instructions.
  • I might add that ITIN users should check all of the ITINs used by the members of their household and renew all the ITINs in the household even though only one or two of them have expired. The renewal can be filed for all ITINs in a household; and what I mean about household, is mom, dad and minor children who all use ITINs because they are not eligible for social security numbers.

Interviewer:  Mayra, Public Relations Associate

Question No. 4:

  • This has been informative. One last question Attorney:
  • What can happen if an ITIN expires and is not timely renewed?

Attorney Answers Question No. 4:

  • Bad things are all but certain to happen:
  • Tax Refunds could very likely to be delayed
  • The family could be denied the child tax credit with all the potential year-after-year tax difficulties that could arise from falsely claiming the child tax credit
  • The earned income credit could be denied with all the potential long term implications from falsely claiming the earned income credit
  • Accuracy Penalties and interest could be assessed by the IRS for filing inaccurate tax returns.
  • To summarize: A taxpayers failing to renew an ITIN could lead to all kinds of difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service’s Exam Unit and Collections division. Taxpayers who use these ITINs must remain vigilant annually and check to see whether any of the ITINs used in their households are set to expire either because of expiration under the 3 year of none use rule or expiration under the IRS rolling middle digit expiration schedule.

Attorney’s Concluding Remarks:

This is the end of Legal Thoughts for now!

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about expiration of ITINs: It’s time to check Your ITINs because they might be expired or expiring soon.  If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C.  Subscribe on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast.  Stay tune!  We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration.  Until next time, take care.